Thousands of American gizzard shad are floating belly up in Little River, but the grave looking pool of dead fish doesn’t surprise environmentalists in Windsor-Essex. Typically, shad do not swim further north than New York, but in recent years, they have been swimming as far as Canada and quickly dying, according to the Essex Region Conservation Authority.

“We’ve seen it happen quite commonly over the last 15 years, every two years or so depending on the thaw,” said Tim Byrne, ERCA’s director of watershed management services. The problem is shad are highly prone to thermal shock, which is a sudden change in water temperature that immediately kills schools of fish. READ MORE